C. Timothy Koeller, Interim Dean, Howe School of Technology Management

11/17/2010

When he started his career at Stevens Institute of Technology 31 years ago, one of C. Timothy Koeller’s first jobs was teaching an undergraduate introductory class on microeconomics. Since then he has taught dozens of classes, conducted extensive research and been honored many times over.
 
Now, in his current role as interim dean of the Howe School of Technology Management, Koeller finds himself back in the classroom teaching an undergraduate course in introductory microeconomics.
 
“It’s an absolute delight. It’s a happy experience for me, although sometimes I don’t know if it is for the students,” he said with a laugh during a recent interview.
 
The class is just one of many roles this distinguished educator has taken on since he was appointed dean six months ago. He expects to be in the position while Stevens conducts its search for a University president.
 
But that does not mean he is simply a placeholder. No, Koeller said he is focused on growing the Howe School’s reach and prominence in the academic world. Specifically there are three areas – advancing the school’s research enterprise, growing its undergraduate programs and strengthening the graduate programs – that receive the bulk of his attention.
 
One priority is to make strategic investments in the hiring of new faculty and to increase the footprint and impact of the Howe school as a research school. This, Koeller said, will help create a stronger platform for the next full time dean.
 
On the undergraduate front, Koeller said he wants to strengthen the program in Business and Technology, giving students an enhanced experience in completing their degree.  He is also working to ensure that the recently created Quantitative Finance program is established and grown in a way that will entice new students with a strong curriculum and faculty.
 
In the same vein, Koeller said the graduate program deserves renewed attention.
 
“We need to find ways to make them more relevant, make sure they are current,” he said. “These programs convey the Howe School to the rest of the world.”
 
For Koeller, that last point is one of pride. When he began at Stevens there was no Howe School. There were two groups of faculty assigned to what would later become the school – industrial psychology and management science.
 
“Twenty years ago Stevens was an undergraduate engineering school, now we’re defined as a national research university,” he said. “That’s a quantum difference.”
 
He credits a strong push on research activity, which helped the master’s programs grow and thrive.
 
“We always participated in some form of undergraduate enterprise, but now we have a fairly well defined set of programs.”
 
Koeller said there is no time to rest on those laurels. The hires the Howe School is currently pursuing are going to strengthen the critical mass needed to send graduates towards top technology-based organizations.
 
This will also help with prospective students. When people think of technology management: “they will think of Stevens as the preferred school relating to the management of technology and innovation.”